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Choosing ClothesWhen it comes to honoring the life of the deceased through a wake, funeral or other death rite, it’s often recommended that attire be appropriate for the seriousness of the event as well as respectful to the deceased, others who grieve and the venue of the ceremony, especially if it’s associated with a house of worship. Many tend to opt for semi-formal attire in darker neutrals such as grays and blacks. The deceased or the family may make requests of attendants, such as team colors for a former athlete or bright colors for a child. Have you ever thought about what to wear at your own funeral? As with other details, this is something you can specify in a will or through advance planning. Here are some things you should know.

Your Funeral, Your Choices

While many people tend to be buried in their Sunday best, you can wear what you want in most cases. For an open-casket ceremony or wake, your loved ones will have the option to view your body, so consider wearing something that reflects how you want to be remembered. The sight of your corpse may be shocking for friends and family, so wearing something familiar or memorable may help bring comfort and joy for the somber occasion. Perhaps you’re the world’s biggest LA Lakers fan? A jersey of your favorite player or team colors may be the best move for your final outfit.

Other Funeral Types

Alternative funerals such as cremations or green burials do restrict what you can wear. For cremations, metallic and glass objects such as jewelry, belts and even body piercings must be removed beforehand. If you know you’d like to be cremated, keep in mind that certain objects cannot be cremated, so you’ll need to leave other instructions for clothing that holds sentimental value. For green burials, your attire must be fully biodegradable. Certain materials do not degrade and as such cannot be worn by the deceased.

Religious Considerations

If your funeral is in keeping with a particular faith, there may be rules that dictate what you wear. For example, in Islam, a person’s body is washed as quickly as possible and buried in a white shroud made up of a certain number of cloths according to gender. Sikhs are usually interred in traditional Sikh garb. In some cases, your attire may be dictated by how your body is handled. For example, many Christians believe in the resurrection of the body, discouraging cremation. Hindus, on the other hand, tend to be cremated, as it is a type of purification by fire.

Apparel Decisions for Trans and Nonbinary Persons

Transgender and nonbinary persons should give special consideration to attire. As a gender nonconforming or agender individual, you may desire to have your clothes and makeup match your gender identity or expression. If you don’t specify your clothes along with other funeral details, you may be buried or cremated in an outfit that doesn’t represent who you are and how you love. Worse, your deadname may be used in the program and ceremony.

Happy Birthday Suit!

Another option worth considering is a natural burial where you’re nude. Like a green burial, you are interred in a simple container or shroud, but there are no clothes. In that case, there is no embalming and your body will be underground within 24 hours. Natural interments are legal, and many funeral homes throughout the nation can accommodate this request. As with other details, it’s important to specify these instructions with a will or through pre-funeral planning.

It’s important to make sure that others know how your body should be handled after death. This includes everything from the type of ceremony, last rites and other details for your ceremony, including what you’re wearing. You can specify every detail from head to toe!

Category: Funeral

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